At around noon on August 24, 79 CE, Mount Vesuvius began to erupt and spew ash and then pumice stones down on the towns below it. The eruption lasted well into the morning of August 25th. One of the towns demolished was Pompeii, but the cities of Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, and many others–some as far away as 73 km–were heavily hit by the volcanic blasts. I wrote this post reconstructing the hour-by-hour of the eruption over on the Forbes blog before I knew of the heartbreaking events in Amatrice. While it may not be the most sensitive post to read this morning, it is a reminder of the profound impact of natural disasters even today. BTW: Over at Bustle, they have a set of links to help you donate time, money, and blood to the victims of the Amatrice earthquake.